OK, obligatory, “2020, what a crappy year!” Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the actual effects of 2020 on nerds, specifically, cosplaying nerds.
Let me start off by stating that I have a job. I’ve had a job this whole year. I have a home and a healthy family, so I am getting through this year blessed to be perfectly honest. So, when I begin my complaining below, please know that while I feel disappointment over things lost in this craptastic year, I do have some perspective.
We lost cons, movies, tv shows, Dapper Day, and countless other nerd celebratory things this year while sheltering and trying to slow the spread of COVID. It was the right thing to do, but it sucked. It has been lonely, and at times, boring. What are cosplayers to do with their time now? Well, I have some ideas I’d like to share. These ideas do apply to other hobbies, so if you aren’t a cosplayer, please read on!
Zoom Meet Ups
I know, you are probably already doing this, but with a lot of us getting Zoom fatigued (me included), we’ve kind of let this one go by the wayside. I think with the holidays coming, we should bring it back. Perhaps a meet up with your holiday best bound, cosplay or dapper look.
Find Masked/Socially Distant Events to Attend with Your Household Members
This one can be tricky, depending on where you live. I’m fortunate enough to live in LA, so we have Downtown Disney, Universal Citywalk and Knotts Berry Farm to go to. In all these instances, they are strictly enforcing social distancing and mask wearing, as well as attendance numbers, so I feel safe going to these events. There are no rides or live shows, but you can put on a nice bound and have a nice day out!
Find a Drive-Thru Event and Cosplay In Your Car
Seems silly, but so is 2020! Again, LA has a ton of drive-thru light displays, so we can get gussied up and go and have a nice evening out.
Work on Some New Builds
Now that there is literally no “con crunch time”, take this time to look at your cosplays and bounds and see if anything needs touching up or updates. I’ve been doing this with my weekends for a while now. I can say that I have more than enough new looks for Avengers Campus when it opens and for cons for the next two years! But, I’ve been able to really take my time and make them look the way I want them to look. I’m super proud of these and can’t wait to show them off, which brings me to…
Now is a great time to do some photos of those looks. Get out your ring lights and tripods and go to town on some photos! Photos and then posting them on Instagram or Facebook is a way to stay engaged with your hobby and also stay in touch with your nerdy friends!
Purchase the In Plain Sight Book For Fresh Ideas
Lastly, please allow me to toot my own horn for a sec and suggest getting a copy of my new book, “In Plain Sight: Using Cosplay to Express Your Inner Superhero”. The book is full of information for the new cosplayer as well as ideas and inspirations for the experienced cosplayer/bounder. I have also come up with an organizational system for building looks, which I have dubbed the Team Build Checklist. You basically building your look by using classic superhero team member archetypes to assist you. Please see the example below of my Star Lord bound along with a photo of the actual look:
Right now for the holidays, I have a limited number of books that are $5.00 off the regular price and signed copies to boot! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for one of those. If you want to purchase through blurb.com, click here.
Regardless if you buy a copy, I hope that this list has given you a little inspiration to get you through to when the vaccine is readily available, and we can all get out and enjoy our hobbies again!
I recently got to sit down and do a podcast for “Below the Surface” and an interview for my local Fox station (Fox 11 LA for “Good Day LA”). Here are links to both. Please enjoy and hope you all had a great Halloween!
I recently had the opportunity to sit down (via zoom) with the Plus Size Nerd aka Nancy Basile, and have a chat about body confidence, body positivity, and about my new book.
As always, she is a joy to speak with! She knows her stuff, and wants the same things as I want, which is for plus size nerds everywhere to feel confident and positive with themselves. You are great right this very second!
Please enjoy the video and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
If you want a signed copy, please send me an email at email@example.com and request one. I’ll calculate postage options for you and make direct payment arrangements. If you want a signed copy, please do not purchase the book first. Purchase through me via email.
This workbook has always been a dream of mine, and I am so excited to offer it to you at last!
When the book, “In Plain Sight” was published, I sent copies to various YouTubers and bloggers I admire. I was thrilled to see that Ordinary Adventures unboxed the book and really like it!
Please enjoy the whole video, but In Plain Sight content starts at 23:30.
Ordinary Adventures is a great YouTube channel to follow for fun nerdy content. I have been enjoying their videos for a year or so, and I highly recommend. They have positive and celebratory videos for tons of different fandoms. Click here to go directly to their channel.
So, you found the perfect dress or the perfect outfit. Congrats! However, now you need to know how to style it.
What is styling exactly? Dictionary.com defines it as, “to design or arrange in accordance with a given or new style.” Accessorizing the outfit is a start, but there is also your make-up to consider as well as jewelry.
Jewelry is technically an accessory, but it is important enough to be listed seperately in this case.
So, how do you get started styling an outfit? Here are some steps to consider while you are styling. There are no hard set rules by any means, but this is a handy guide to help get you started. You’ll be styling your own outfits in no time at all!
Even if you aren’t using this guide to style a cosplay or bound, the tips still apply.
Consider the style of the outfit.
Is your outfit a vintage style or 80’s inspired? Maybe it is a more formal style or a business suit. If it is a 50’s style dress, then you’ll want to pair it with more vintage-style accessories. A business suit would be paired with more subdued and professional accessories.
Consider the venue and/or event for the outfit.
Are you wearing this 50’s style dress to work or to a con? Are you wearing this dress to Disneyland for Dapper Day? How about to a wedding? I’ve worn the same dress to all of the above, but it was styled differently for each event. What’s great for Disneyland is not appropriate for work and so on.
Consider the functionality needed from your accessories.
While you are considering your venue or event, think about what kind of functionality you need. Are you going to a con? You’ll need the most comfortable shoes you can get that also compliment the outfit. Disneyland? What is the temperature going to be that day? If your day out is in August, then you might want to leave the petticoat at home (trust me on this one). Do you have a parasol? If yes, then you can leave your hat at home if you want. What kind of bag should you carry? Take all this into consideration when putting the pieces together.
Balance in all the things.
Your base outfit is what you work from here. A big fit and flare dress should really have smaller, more tailored accessories to create a balance. If you have a hat, then make it smaller with the big dress. Same with the bag. Very colorful dress or outfit? Then more subdued make-up.
Lastly, What story do you want your outfit to tell?
The last piece when you are styling an outfit is what do you want people to see? I know your outfit is the focal point, but what do you want people to take away from it? If you have a bound, this is kind of done for you. If you are bounding Captain America for example, then the star on the chest or the red and white stripes on the bodice tell people that you are bounding Cap. If you have a dress that is a great color, then you want to keep things simple and just draw the eyes to the pretty color. Don’t overthink it.
I hope that these tips help you. In our next post, I will post some photos of outfits with explanations why I styled them the way I did, and how I would, and do, style them differently in different situations.
The other day we broke down Benji’s Robin Hood dapper look, and now it is my turn.
I went to Dapper Day as Robin Hood’s bestie, Little John.
Disney’s Little John is my favorite Disney character. I love his sense of fun, positivity, loyalty and justice. I know that is a lot to attach to an animated character, but he made quite an impression on me as a kid.
Here is a reference photo:
Now, let’s break it down using the Team Build Checklist:
The Leader for this bound would be the bear ears. I decided to go with a Mickey ear headband, but with brown ears because, bear. I also got really lucky and found these custom-made ears by To Never Neverland on Etsy. These ladies have tons of great ear headbands for every character imaginable. Please check out their page. The headband is also super comfortable. The little feather detail was just perfect.
Little John’s outfit is pretty simple. Green tunic, shoes and hat. The best detail to let people know I was bounding Little John was a money bag. We found these perfect purses on Amazon. I actually added jump rings, removed the strap and attached the purse to my belt to create a fanny pack of sorts. The belt is from Amazon as well.
There really wasn’t any special make-up or hair needed for this bound, but because it was Dapper Day, a red lip was the perfect finishing touch. My red lip is MAC in Ruby Woo.
I hope that our latest bounds got you inspired for Spring Dapper Day! Hope to see you there, and happy shopping!
This photo has Robin wearing a yellow hat, however, in appearances in the parks and for most of the film, he is wearing a green hat. So, we went with a green hat.
The Leader and The Brick
Robin’s hat serves as both the Leader and the Brick because his ears are a part of that. His hat was important to show the character as Robin Hood, but also a dapper version of Robin.
We chose a newsboy cap from Amazon. Then we purchased a set of fox ears and tail from Spirit Halloween. I cut the ears off of the headband, cut holes in the hat and worked the ears through the holes. Then I secured the ears with hot glue.
The Exotic needs to be the outfit itself. What makes him Robin Hood and not just a fox wearing clothes. Now for the tunic. A tunic is not dapper, so we went with a button down and tie. Because Robin is an outlaw, we decided with a business tie, but left undone. The shirt and tie and both from Amazon.
The pants we went with brown as a substitute for the fox fur legs.
We opted to not do fox make-up because it is Dapper Day and not a full-on cosplay. WE did need one more item to finish the look. Because Robin is busy robbing, he needed a money bag to keep his treasure in. As luck would have it, I found a purse literally shaped like a money bag on Amazon.
Next up is my Little John look. Until then, happy shopping!